A CLASSIC ENCOUNTER – MAIDENHEAD (H) 2017 by Danny Burnell

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Danny Burnell

Danny Burnell – @dannyburnell_92

With Maidenhead visiting Plainmoor in a couple of days, I take a look at a memorable encounter between the two sides back in the ill-fated 2017/18 season. 

Torquay United 4-0 Maidenhead United

National League

Tuesday 3rd October 2017 – 20.15 KO

Venue: Plainmoor

Team: Dorel, Higgins, Gowling, McGinty, Davis, Reid, C.Evans, Lathrope, Young, Murphy, McQuoid

Subs: Keating, Myrie-Williams, Gray, Efete, Osborne

Goals: TU: McQuiod 4, Young 12, Murphy 21, Reid 44

At the fifth time of asking, new boss Gary Owers got his first win in a first half demolition of Maidenhead. The ex-Bath City manager replaced Gulls legend Kevin Nicholson, who himself master-minded the great escape just months earlier. However, a torrid start to the season combining in just three points from the first 9 matches, sealed the former left-back’s fate.

The Gulls headed into this Tuesday night clash rock bottom of the league, and already 8 points from safety. With losses against Bromley, Macclesfield & Dagenham already under his belt, the Geordie boss was under no illusions how big a task this was. Winless in the first 13 games, the Gulls played host to a Maidenhead side who started the season in decent form. 9th in the league, and three points from the top, Alan Devonshire’s side came to Devon fully expecting to pile the misery on the relegation-threatened Gulls.

When you are down on your luck, sometimes you need certain things to go your way, and luck appeared to be in abundance that evening. With the visitors running late, the game was forced to be delayed for half an hour, resulting in a fairly rushed warm-up for the away side. United were able to take full advantage of the lack in preparation, as just 4 minutes in, on loan Luton striker Josh McQuoid broke the deadline to score his first goal for the club. Luke Young’s delivery was ably placed for the on-rushing forward to glance it past the hapless Magpies’ keeper.

The quick start continued, and through a combination of determined attitude and skilful football, it was 2-0. Solid wing pay from Reid allowed the ball to break to Young who superbly slotted home from 18 yards. Torquay tails were up, and they could smell blood.

The preparation, or more so lack of it, was telling. The usually reliable Maidenhead defence were at 6’s and 7’s, and when goal number 3 came, you could barely begrudge the home side of the lead. Luke Young once again the provider, this time from a corner, and via several ricochets the ball fell nicely for the other on-loan striker, Rhys Murphy, to notch his first goal in Yellow. 3 up with little over 20 minutes on the clock.

It was another first of the season, this time for Jamie Reid as he netted goal #1 of the campaign. There was a time, can you believe, the former Grecian was not so prolific. Played out wide, Reid found his chances in front of goal limited, but when Murphy’s cross found it’s way to Reid, the future 30 goal a season man made no mistake in making it an unassailable half time lead, and the best 45 minutes witnessed at Plainmoor for many a year. 

The second half didn’t match the first half billing, but the damage had already been done. Several chances were had to make it 5, but United settled for 4 to bring home maximum points for the first time that season. 

It was a turning point that season that never materialised. Back to back defeats followed, and one further win in seven cemented their place firmly in the relegation spot. Owers’ claims of ‘we aren’t rubbish anymore’ appeared pre-mature!

Relive the game below!


THE TEAM THAT DAY:

VINCENT DOREL: The French stopper spent a solitary season at Plainmoor, having arrived from Plymouth.

Final Gulls stats: League apps: 35

RYAN HIGGINS: Came to the club with so much promise, but was forced to retire following heart problems just months into his Torquay career.

Final Gulls stats: League apps: 17, League goals: 0

JOSH GOWLING: Arrived from Grimsby but never really settled in the area, now manager at Hereford in the NLS.

Final Gulls stats: League apps: 25, League goals: 0

SEAN MCGINTY: Was an ever present in his two seasons at Plainmoor, playing 92 times. Currently plays for Ayr United in the Scottish Championship.

Final Gulls stats: League apps: 92, League goals: 6

LIAM DAVIS: A real crowd pleasure and joy to watch down that left flank. Would still be in the Gulls XI today if it weren’t for injury forcing him to retire.

Final Gulls stats: League apps: 91, League goals: 3

JAMIE REID: Proved doubters wrong when switched to his natural position up front. Didn’t work out at Mansfield, now at Steve Evans’ Stevenage.

Final Gulls stats: League apps: 163, League goals: 57

CALLUM EVANS: On loan from FGR at the time, now at Frome Town.

Final Gulls stats: League apps: 10, League goals: 0

DAMON LATHROPE: A Gulls career blighted by injury. Forced to retire earlier than he would have liked. Most appearances by an outfield player without scoring?

Final Gulls stats: League apps: 152, League goals: 0

LUKE YOUNG: Back-to-back POTS winner for the Gulls before moving onto Wrexham. Now captains the Hollywood project.

Final Gulls stats: League apps: 133, League goals: 16

RHYS MURPHY: Scored his only goal in this game, but made a name for himself at this level. Prolific for Chelmsford & Yeovil, currently at Southend.

Final Gulls stats: League apps: 8, League goals: 1

JOSH MCQUOID: On loan at the time, now captains Weymouth and has become a club legend for the Terras.

Final Gulls stats: League apps: 14, League goals: 2


PLAYED FOR BOTH:

NATHAN BLISSETT

Torquay career: 2016-17

Maidenhead career: 2020 – Current

DAN SPARKES

Torquay career: 2016-17

Maidenhead career: 2020 – Current


Last 3 H2H at Plainmoor. 

08/12/20 – National League: Torquay 2-1 Maidenhead

13/08/19 – National League: Torquay 0-2 Maidenhead

03/10/17 – National League : Torquay 4-0 Maidenhead

COYY – Danny


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